Marlins make good showing on the courts

TINA HARBUCK
The Destin girls and boys teams placed in the county tennis tournament held at the Tennis Center in Fort Walton Beach last week. The girls placed second, while the boys finished third. Back row from left are Destin Coach Ronda Pridgen, Madison Pridgen, Anastasia Miller, Lily Stiles, Ainsley Barousse and Sophie Cohen. Kneeling from left are Beck Holahan, Blake Whitson, Ethan Eubanks, Brody Miller, Eason Ingram and Wesley Schackelford.

Both the girls and boys Destin Marlin tennis teams placed in the Okaloosa County Middle Tennis Tournament held at the Tennis Center in Fort Walton Beach last week.

The Marlin girls placed second in the county, while the boys claimed third.

“The players were such a great team and that is hard to do in an individual sport like tennis,” said Destin Coach Ronda Pridgen.

FOR MORE PHOTOS, CLICK HERE.

“They supported each other the entire season. I could not be more proud of how well they played and of their sportsmanship all season.”

The girls team had four girls make it to the finals, Anastasia Miller, Lily Stiles, Ainsley Barouusse and Madison Pridgen. All four played several rounds Tuesday in 80-plus degree temps. Stiles and Miller both lost to Ruckel players in match number three of the day, with Stiles losing a close one 6-5. Pridgen and Barousse, playing match four, lost to a Liza Jackson opponent and Ruckel player, respectively.

“The good thing for me today was we had players that beat players they lost to during season,” Pridgen said while waiting for the finals to wrap up.

“We had players that turned it around … they’ve learned and grown, and I like that,” she added.

“Usually you will get one or two, but this year we had four turn around scores.”

As for the Marlin boys, Destin had two in the finals Brody Miller and Ethan Eubanks.

Destin was also represented in the consolation with Blake Whitson and Beck Holahan posting victories.

Both Destin teams finished the regular season with 7-2 records and are losing only three eighth graders — Anastasia Miller, Wesley Shackelford and Blake Whitson.

With a good nucleus hopefully coming back, Pridgen said, “We are looking at another great season in 2016.”